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Chills vs Rigors

Discussion in 'Internal Medicine and IM Subspecialties' started by firstdoc101, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. firstdoc101

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    Please explain the difference in the context of a patient with pneumonia. I read on uptodate about mycoplasma pnuemonia pts are more likely to have chills than rigors..... I was always under the impression they were the same thing but this clearly indicates that they are two separate clinical symptoms.
    Thanks!
     
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  3. howelljolly

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    As far as I know...
    Chills are a subjective symptom, Rigors are a sign - shivering.
     
  4. ranmyaku

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    As HowellJolly explained, I think the difference is also sign vs. symptom.
     
  5. phassett74

    phassett74 New Member
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    Always love these questions - makes me try to recall if I actually know the difference, or have just been using the words randomly.

    From Tabers: "Chill - involuntary, rapid contractions of muscle groups (shivering) accompanied by the sensation of being cold, or sensation of being cold without shivering...Severe chills accompanied by violent shaking of the body are called rigors"

    I can tell you, having actually had rigors last year for the first time in a very long time, they are quite unmistakable, and like night sweats, doubt most people know what they actually are.

    Rigors = chills with BA Baracus attitude

    As per the first example, mycoplasma pneumonia usually more mild and could have chills. Full-blown, butt-kicking pneumonia makes you much sicker, and can produce rigors.
     
    #4 phassett74, Dec 6, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2008
  6. adam6

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    Once you see actual rigors, you will never forget the difference from chills! When a pt rigors (from infection or secondary to an infusion/chemo reaction, etc), the nurses freak out, the med students freak out, you feel like freaking out... :)

    It's very disconcerting to see the violent shaking... some people mistake it for a seizure. But if you get the cross coverage call, see the pt, recognize the picture as rigors -- give a bit o' demerol (DOC for rigors) -- you'll help the pt and come across as a star :) Obviously, you'll need to address what caused the rigors in the first place...
     
  7. dragonfly99

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    supposedly pneumococcal pneumonia more commonly causes full-blown rigors than other types of bacterial pneumonia.
     
  8. nasdr

    nasdr Member
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    great description; you will likely see this on heme/onc when a pt is getting IL-2 tx for melanoma or RCC
     
  9. firstdoc101

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    Thanks all who had input, I think I get it now (even if i havent seen the rigors yet!)
     
  10. farasha4ever

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    is it true that rigors cannot be stopped if a person holds the patient who is rigoring? whilst chills can be stopped if someone around holds the patient?
     

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